WASHINGTON With an eye on the consumer electronics market, particularly higher-resolution displays for smartphones, silicon foundry provider Silterra Malaysia is promoting its 0.13-micron high-voltage technology.
Company executives said Wednesday (Aug. 20) they are targeting the display driver IC market where higher-resolution thin-film transistor LCDs are turning up on a range of handheld devices like smart phones, mobile TV phones and PDAs. They also hope to capitalize on the slew of new, multimedia phones that have emerged in response to the introduction of Apple's iPhone 3G.
High-voltage chips are "not a new market [for Silterra], but this market is rapidly changing," said Yit Loong Lai, Silterra's vice president for sales and marketing. Lai said 65 percent of Silterra's overall business is in Asia, where new smartphones have been popping up almost daily in response to the introduction of the iPhone 3G.
Silterra's fourth-generation, high-voltage technology includes a 2.13-micron2 SRAM bit cell designed for higher-density memories needed for high-resolution displays like high-end wide-quarter VGA displays.
Lai said Silterra's 0.13-micron high-voltage one-transistor SRAM is scheduled to enter volume production during the first half of 2009, replacing a six-transistor SRAM bit cell version.
Silterra is in the midst of the three-phase foundry expansion plan. Last October, it announced a $100 million investment aimed at expanding capacity at its existing 200-mm fab.
Capacity should be increased soon to as many as 40,000 wafers a month, Lai said.
Meanwhile, it is negotiating unspecified deals with Japanese partners, with agreements expected to be completed by the end of 2008.
Finally, Lai said Silterra said negotiating with an unnamed Chinese municipal government to construct a 12-inch wafer fab. The China fab would come online with 65-nm process technology. Talks are expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The Malaysian foundry provider has been working with Belgium's IMEC since 2004, initially at the 130-nm process node. Research shift to the 90- and 65-nm nodes last year. Lai said he expects Silterra to begin limited production capacity of as many as 2,000 wafers a month by the fall.
Overall, executives said Silterra's strategy will be to attract more Asian consumer electronics and wireless display customers than in the past as a way to increase market share in segments like display driver ICs.